Sometimes a virus spreads as an aerosol through the air. And sometimes a virus spreads through political misinformation. COVID does both.
Wearing a mask is one of the most important behaviors to decrease the spread of COVID-19. But not everyone is wearing a mask. Some people argue vehemently against wearing a mask. And various places around the United States have different ideas about the need to limit gatherings in indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars, schools, and churches. These differences mean that the spread of the virus isn’t equal.
Why don’t people follow basic public health advice? Because of the spread of a different virus – misinformation. Many sources of misinformation deny the value of wearing a mask. People have been told that the risks are low, so reopening every activity is fine, and actually important. Some areas have not advised limiting crowds and indoor interactions.